April 2, 2022, 1:00 PM

Saturday, April 2 – Newark, and the New Jersey Riviera. 11:30 am


What an April fools day we had yesterday! And who knew that it took 12 hours to get to Newark, New Jersey.
Note to self: the Albany – EWR shuttle – never again!

When we realized, after sitting on the plane for nearly 3 hours, that we had missed our connection to Munich, Cheryl overheard people directly around us using the word Munich pretty frequently so we formed a posse of seven, galloping off the plane as soon as we were able at close to 9 PM which was a full three hours later than predicted that we would get to Newark airport. We headed off to the mythic gate C 91 – home of customer service and rerouted trips.

We thought we had been pretty quick, but when we got there the line stretched alllllll the way down the airport concourse, leading a pilot who was walking by who had disembarked from his own flight, to whistle and say “holy ****, look at the length of that line! “ This was a pilot who works at this airport for a living. Obviously there were lots of other people besides the Munich Seven (us) who had missed their connecting flights as well.

And people were angry. Security was called – and never arrived. That’s a good feeling in an airport. Finally we were at the front of the line, having literally  cheered on every other person within view who managed to get rerouted flights. We made a lot of new friends last night. 

So at 12:30 in the morning and yes that’s correct, we were online in Newark airport for more than three hours – – we also  became aware that there were no hotel rooms available through the airline,  and while we could get rerouted we had to figure out how to get a hotel, how to get to the hotel, and now we had to pay for a hotel. Cheryl was brilliant at this but even with all her brilliance we had to pay more than $300 for a single night in beautiful downtown Newark, New Jersey. Somehow I never thought I’d be saying those words. Having said that, we do have a view of the Passaic River that is just, well, let’s say it’s a darned good look at New Jersey! I’ve started to call at the New Jersey Riviera.

We now leave at 7:30 PM and fly to Frankfurt, Germany and then onto Warsaw. We get to Warsaw at 1:30 PM local time, which will be 7:30 AM to all of you who will be waking up early to attend your church services tomorrow :-)

I am genuinely sad that we are not yet at our destination because Cheryl had arranged for us to attend church at a convent that is housing some of the refugees. That would’ve been a first, gentler, deeply spiritual look at some of the things we will be facing at the border. Cheryl is very sad because she is supporting a single mother and her child and has wanted to visit with Anna since she connected with her at the beginning of this war. Cheryl has a suitcase full of gifts for both Anna and her daughter. Of course she does. ðŸ™‚ 

I believe Cheryl may stay on later in order to visit with Anna, but I will still be home on Tuesday of Holy Week.

I’m going to include a snippet of a prayer that I read for Cheryl and I at the airport before we took off in Albany. The longest short flight of my life. However these words are so apropos Because I asked God to empty of the things that distract us from God’s purposes. This is from the very end of the prayer.

From Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle by Ted Loder:

Empty me, God of the disguises and lies in which I hide myself from other people and from my responsibility to care for my neighbors and for my brothers and sisters across the world.
Hollow out in me a space in which I will find myself, find peace and a whole heart, a forgiving spirit and holiness, springs of laughter, and the will, YOUR will, to reach boldly for abundant life for myself and for the whole human family. Amen

May Cheryl and I continue to reach and work and pray for abundant life on behalf of our brothers and sisters crossing the border whom we will soon serve. Amen. Amen.

Be blessed, and be a blessing to others,